Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Genie Corsairs

Genies make for unpleasant neighbors. Their command of their respective elements means they can suddenly, and radically, rearrange the landscape and climate. They tend to congregate into large households comprising not only more of their own kind, but also slaves and pets of numerous other races that most sane folk consider dangerous in the extreme. And many enjoy adding to their collections by raiding far and wide across the multiverse.

All four races of geniekind use a similar design for their corsairs. Generally, there are two habitable ellipsoids connected end-to-end. These are encased in a cage-like frame of orichalcum (around an adamantium core) in a long football shape. The spaces inside the frame not filled by the ellipsoids (on either pointed end and a ring around the middle, surrounding where the ellipsoids meet) cage the elementals that pull (or push or lift, as the case may be) the corsair. Typically, air elementals of massive size are preferred, as they allow the corsair to fly, and nearly anyone the genies would be thinking to raid would live within a bubble of Air. Air-drawn corsairs can also travel through water. Water-drawn corsairs can generally only travel through water, though, like fire-drawn corsairs (which can travel through fire, naturally) they can crawl across the ground, though at speeds barley faster than a human’s walk. Earth elementals can travel across the top of the ground much more quickly, but can also pass through earth and solid stone at a surprising clip (lead slows them considerably, and they cannot breach adamantium).

The habitable portions of corsairs vary in design, but typically the forward portion contains the command deck, work quarters, chirurgeon’s studio and hospital facilities, sparring and drilling rooms, alchemical and magical labs, smithies or other factory facilities, and cargo hold. The aft portion is typically decorated more to the usual sumptuous tastes of genie-kind and houses the living quarters for the genies and their favored slaves, feasting halls, kitchens, vaults, armories, as well as quarters for living animals that will be harvested for food along the way.

What these sections are made from depends on the ship’s origin. Efreet corsairs tend to be of brass or bronze, sheathed in adamantium. Corsairs from Earth tend to replace the brass and bronze with wood. Ships from Water are constructed with bulbous, glistening pastel shells similar to the glass-like towers merfolk grow from specially cultivated corral. Djinn often build theirs from crystals, sometimes replacing even the orichalcum and adamantium framework with an enchanted crystal matrix.

A corsair on a raiding expedition will often house a dozen to a score or more genies, plus twice to five times the number of attendant slaves, at least half of whom will be combatants, whether simple warriors or even enslaved sorcerers and other spell-slingers. Even a corsair heading out to a raid is filled with fabulous treasures. Treat it as holding about a quarter of the expected wealth for the typical lair of genies of the appropriate type. And corsairs returning from a successful raid will hold even greater treasure, with types and quantities depending on where it’s returning from.

The corsair pictured here, the Firecat, is a smaller one, being only 320 feet in length. It’s owned by Bey Asad ibn Rumha. As the Bey used to travel with most of his harem, more space than normal was given over for his own personal quarters as well as for his mamluks and their gear, and the pair of firecats kept by his concubines. The large, two-level cargo hold and cisterns allow the Firecat to stay out for extended periods, either on pleasure-cruises or raids. The short, domed dorsal observation tower would slow the corsair down when traveling through Earth or Water, but Bey Asad prefers raids on the Prime Material and Faerie realms.

Like most corsairs, the Firecat includes an ethereal spindle which allows the ship to shift between the physical and ethereal planes. As the ethereal touches both all the Elemental Planes as well as the Prime Materials, it makes an excellent conduit by which corsairs can travel from one realm to another. However, as ethereal travel is dangerous, most raiders keep their time in the ethereal to a minimum. Special savants are used to navigate between worlds, and to find the places most auspicious to translate between the planes. While the ship is traveling through the ethereal plane, these savants guide it from meditation cells buried deep inside the ship, where they can pilot the craft without distraction. When outside the ethereal plane, the enslaved elementals that move the ship can be psychically commanded by anyone sitting on the pilot’s throne.

1 comment:

trollsmyth said...

Testing something. Nothing to see here, please move along...